My work is about your seeing. There is a rich tradition in painting of work about light, but it is not light – it is the record of seeing. My material is light, and it is responsive to your seeing. ‚Äî James Turrell
Season 1 artist James Turrell currently has a light installation on view at Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY through the end of the year. The work is entitled Gap, from the “Tiny Town series,” which he created between 2001-2006. The museum acquired the piece in 2005.
Turrell appeared on the art scene in the mid-1960s as part of the California light and space movement – an off-shoot of minimalism that took the literal and experimental nature of this New York movement in a different direction by focusing on visual perception itself.
In his work, Turrell isolates a central component of everyday experience‚Äîlight. His installations grow out of a radically simple goal‚Äîto let the viewer experience light as directly as possible. In indoor installations such as Gap, he lets light take on its own otherworldly quality, creating a contemplative space where one experiences a single plane of illuminated color.
As viewers are forced to pay close attention to their own perceptions, their sense of reality is challenged, and the resulting instability generates a daydream experience.
Watch clips from James Turrell’s Art:21 segment and read extended interviews from the PBS series on his webpage here: http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/turrell/index.html